Mr. Hendry`s will left his estate to his children, and Ms. Hendry was bequeathed a small pension. Negotiations were initiated between Ms. Hendry and the two children. Mrs. Hendry wanted half of her late husband`s estate. The children first offered her what she would have obtained under the couple`s signed marriage contract. Later, they offered him a third of the estate. What makes the case interesting for Manchester lawyers and lawyers who advise on wills and estate claims is that Mr and Mrs Hendry signed a pre-marriage marriage pact. The marital agreement stated that in the event of a divorce, Ms. Hendry would receive a payment of $10,000 and a one-way ticket to return to the Philippines.
In accordance with the agreement, the Decedent 20 February 2002 Last Will and Testament provided that the woman received the sum of 20,000 dollars. The intention was that this amount could come from the common property and/or the estate of the crook, provided that the total amount received by the woman is $20,000. Although the woman received $35,819.21 in joint titled assets at the time of her husband`s death, she tried to cancel the agreement and seize it against her husband`s will, probably because one-third of the estate would have been greater than the $35,819.21 $US she had actually received. As a general rule, it is possible to limit a spouse`s inheritance through a marriage agreement, but you will want to be sure that the prenup complies with the law to avoid a challenge by your spouse after your death (and costly estate disputes for your estate). If the beneficiaries of the final will can prove that the marriage agreement is not valid, the court will not enforce its conditions. This can happen when a spouse has taken a prenup under duress. Of the two documents, a prenup is the one that will have priority, provided it has been negotiated fairly after the death of the spouse. Although one spouse is dead, the marriage agreement is still binding if the other party is still alive to retain the property. Prenups may also contain forum selection clauses. It explains what state laws are in force if the agreement is rejected.
In essence, the surviving party of the marriage contract may enforce the pre-study in any state that recognizes the legitimacy of the agreement. Wills, however, cannot contain these clauses. Recently, a court in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, considered the application of a marriage agreement after the death of her husband (Decedent). In the case of In Re: Estate of Earl M. Miller, the deceased and Doris E. Miller (his wife) were married in 1994. She first attempted to invalidate the marital agreement of the parties (agreement) so that she could act against her husband`s will.